Warm up this Winter in the City's Best Cafés
Hangzhou has a plenty of cozy cafes with air-conditioning units set at the maximum. A hot beverage and a tasty pastry might be all you need for a pleasant afternoon with your friends, so Shanghai Daily has visited four dessert and coffee shops that are a perfect escape from the freezing weather and will help you replenish your energy.
Afternoon tea is slowly getting more popular among young people. Authentic stores that offer traditional British afternoon tea aren’t easy to find in Hangzhou.
Annvita Tea Time is one of them.
The more than 20 different tea varieties are served in old fashioned porcelain to bring an authentic British feel to the tea house.
We recommend the signature rose tea, which is brewed with natural rose essence imported from Canada. According to Annvita, each pot contains the essence of at least 15 roses.
To complete the English experience, the afternoon tea is served with sandwich made with cucumber, egg, fish paste, ham and smoked salmon, scones with rose jam and butter, chocolate cakes and pastries. They are served on a tiered stand and arranged according to taste — the lowest tier contains salty food, the middle is sweet and the top is fruit-flavored.
Address: 2/F, Intime, 98 Yan’an Rd
Tel: (0571) 8700-2717
This cafe claims to boast Hangzhou’s only Hawaii Kona coffee, a variety that only refers to coffee beans planted in the North and South Kona districts of Hawaii’s main island.
Kona’s sunny mornings and mild nights as well as its mineral rich volcanic soil create a favorable environment for growing coffee.
Minc imports the coffee beans directly from Hawaii. Unlike other varieties that often taste bitter, coffee from Kona is known for its nutty taste that comes with a hint of caramel.
In addition to coffee, the cafe also serves low-calorie food that is quite popular among gym-goers, especially the salad made of chicken, fruit and vegetables.
Address: 11 Taohuahe Lane
Tel: (0571) 8733-8652
This low-profile cafe has been located along Yuhangtang River for more than two years. Though owner Fei Ya never advertised it, the cafe still allures coffee aficionados by virtue of its home roasted coffee beans, a rare find among Hangzhou’s local coffee scene.
As with any coffee, taste depends on where the beans were grown, but Fei says that roasting them in house adds a pleasant smell and makes the coffee fresher and more aromatic.
Address: 207 Xinyi Rd
Originally established in Singapore 17 years ago, this little franchise used to sell no more than one cake — a simple dark chocolate cake with layers of dark chocolate fudge. Although rich in chocolate, the cake was neither overly sweet nor too rich, and became popular for its light and moist taste.
After its initial success, Awfully Chocolate created other chocolate cakes and combined them with even more chocolate.
Though the store never spent too much time on marketing its products, it still spread across Singapore and began to open branches overseas. Hangzhou is the fourth destination in China’s mainland after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province.
The outlets still stick to the shop’s simple philosophy and produce only a small number of quality chocolate cakes, with rather plain interior.
The signature dessert, Hei, which literally means “black” in Chinese, is a dark chocolate ice cream made with a blend of Belgian dark chocolate, eggs, fresh milk and pure cream.
In order to provide Hangzhou guests with authentic fresh Awfully Chocolate pastries, the store ships its ingredients from Singapore every day.
The sun is shining and the autumn wind is just right. In such good weather, it is a good idea to travel back in time in the Hangzhou Confucius Temple. Here, you can cultivate your mind and soul. In the temple, tablets can be seen everywhere, positioning people instantly in the ancient seat of learning in the capital city of the Southern Song Dynasty. Here, you can stop and appreciate the ancient moss-covered stone tiles, which seems to narrate the thousands-of-year history of the Confucius Temple.